Small Dog, Big Impact

How Chimay fits into the Life Skills classroom at Conrad Weiser.

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Small Dog, Big Impact

Alex MacKenzie and Connor McCoy

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Chimay, the new therapy dog at Conrad Weiser High School might be cute, furry, and small, but nothing beats her huge impact on our school community.  Chimay is more than just a furry dog, she is a friend in the life skills classroom. The cute Yorkie Bichon mix earned her stripes as a therapy dog over the summer.  Ms. Ann Schmidt, Library Media Specialist and Chimay’s owner, has aspirations of giving kids a stress free environment and worked with Mrs. Rebecca Miller, the life skills teacher, to create a learning community incorporating service pets.  Chimay spends every Tuesday at school and a full block with Mrs. Miller’s life skills students. For this block, students improve their responsibility and the ability to take control, performing such commands as “sit, lay down, come here, and roll over.”  

In addition to Chimay, Mrs. Miller’s classroom also takes responsibility for cute ginger-haired foster kittens, as part of the Animal Rescue League foster program. The whole purpose is to help raise these kittens to get them adopted throughout the community.  Both Chimay and the kittens teach life skills students value life-long lessons in responsibility and care for others.